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(Allied) Pilot Search :

F/Lt. R. W. Oxspring - 66 Squadron

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Robert Wardlow Oxspring was born in Sheffield on 22nd May 1919, the son of a World War 1 decorated pilot of the same name. He joined the RAF in March 1938 on a short service commission and joined 66 Sqn in the December and started operational flying in July 1940, flying throughout the Battle of Britain. His Spitfire X4170 was shot down by Bf109s over Kent on 25th October, baling out with slight injuries (Caterpillar Club Badge). He was awarded the DFC on 8th November. September 1942 saw him awarded a bar to the DFC. Moving to Mediterranean combat, it is thought probable that Oxspring was the pilot who shot down renowned German ace Anton Haffner of JG51 on 2 January 1943. Oxspring led his squadron to be the highest scoring in the North African theatre, and survived his second shooting down of the war, Oxspring was awarded a second bar to his DFC in February 1943. During the war Squadron Leader Oxspring had registered 13 solo kills with 2 shared, 2 probable kills and 4 solo V-1 Flying Bombs destroys and 1 shared. In 1946 he was awarded the Dutch Vligerkruis by Royal Decree of the 31st October 1946 appearing in the London Gazette on 10th January 1947. He was awarded an AFC in January 1949 after leading a team of 54 Sqn Vampires to Canada and the USA, the first jet aircraft to cross the Atlantic. He retired from the service with the rank of Group Captain, having been Station Commander of RAF Gatow, Germany, in 1968 and settled in Lincolnshire near to RAF Cranwell. He died on 8th August 1989.

Awarded the Distinguished Flying CrossAwarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying CrossAwarded Two Bars to the Distinguished Flying Cross
Flying Cross
Bar to the
Flying Cross
Two Bars to the
Flying Cross

Items Signed by Group Captain Bobby Oxspring (deceased)

 Bobby Oxspring in his 66 Squadron Spitfire destroys an ME109 of JF/53 Ace of Spades Group, in a high level attack at 30,000 feet above Dover, 18th September 1940. Angels Three Zero by Robert TaylorClick For DetailsDHM2084
Group Captain Bobby Oxspring (deceased)

Latest Allied Battle of Britain Artwork Releases !
 Sunday 15 September 1940 and Luftwaffe supremo Hermann Goering believed victory over the RAF was at hand. Today, he decreed, would be the day that his 'glorious' Luftwaffe would finally break the back of Fighter Command's stubborn resistance. Or so he believed. In response to a massed formation of enemy aircraft detected heading for London, Air Vice Marshal Keith Park commanding 11 Group scrambled his squadrons. He also requested that 12 Group bring Douglas Bader's 'Big Wing' down from Duxford. Every available pilot and machine was committed. Prime Minister Winston Churchill turned to Park and asked +What other reserves have we+ +There are none+, Park replied. Bader now had five squadrons racing south, meeting what remained of the enemy on the outskirts of London. With a successful morning behind them the RAF fighters raced back to re-fuel and re-arm. Just after 14.00 hrs another enemy battle group was observed and this time the formations were even larger. Bader's Wing was scrambled once more.

The Greatest Day by Robert Taylor.
 September 1940 and they came in their hundreds, the black crosses under their wings clearly visible to those on the ground who listened in silence as the menacing drone of a thousand engines filled the clear blue summer sky.  As Goering's Luftwaffe attempted to deal the killer blow to British defences, huge formations of Heinkel, Dornier and Junker bombers lumbered over sleepy English fields towards London.  Surrounding them were their escorts, the formidable Messerschmitt Bf109 fighters.  Diving our of the sun, 11 Group's fighter squadrons pounced, with the Spitfires going for the Bf109s while the Hurricanes fell on the slower moving bombers.  Looking up on the swirling melee above, onlookers below could only watch in awe as the sky was filled with criss-cross patterns of creamy white vapour and spiralling trails of ominous, darker smoke.  A parachute here and there caught the eye as the white silk drifted slowly down to the fields below.  Hugely outnumbered, the men of RAF Fighter Command were supported by volunteer airmen from fifteen nations, and as more squadrons joined the fray the battle raged towards the capital until the Bf109s turned for home.  The Few were finally turning the tide of the Battle of Britain.

Fields of Glory by Richard Taylor.
 They came from every corner of Britain.  And mostly they were young.  These fresh faced fighter pilots, joined by an ever-growing band of volunteer airmen from the British Commonwealth and those who had managed to escape from the occupied countries of Europe would, over the summer of 1940, not only hold the world's most powerful air force at bay, they would defeat it.  Richard Taylor's stunning piece graphically conveys the conflicting realities of those deadly aerial encounters over southern England during 1940.  As the sound of Merlin engines briefly interrupts the tranquility of a sleepy English village, its residents are determined to carry on with everyday life.  In the skies overhead the bitter battle will shortly be reaching its crescendo but, for today at least, the fighting is over as Flight Sergeant George 'Grumpy' Unwin, one of the Battle of Britain's top Aces, and the Spitfire pilots of 19 Squadron return from yet another encounter with Goering's much-vaunted Luftwaffe.

Return From the Fray by Richard Taylor.
 A trio of Spitfire Mk1s of 603 Sqn based at Biggin Hill are depicted on patrol in the Summer skies above Kent during the height of the Battle of Britain in August 1940. Lead aircraft is N3288 XT-H flown by Plt Off George Gilroy who finished the war with 14 confirmed victories, 10 shared and a further 14 aircraft destroyed in actions in which he was directly involved.

Biggin Trio by Ivan Berryman.

Battle of Britain Timeline of Related Info : 29th November


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